Maxwell Says She and Spouse Pledge All Their Assets for Bail

Former British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell said she’s no longer discussing a divorce from her spouse, and that her $28.5 million bail proposal would represent all of their combined assets.

Maxwell’s disclosures come as she again seeks release from a federal lockup in Brooklyn, New York, where she’s awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges tied to her former boyfriend, money manager Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell is a citizen of three countries, including France, which doesn’t extradite its citizens to the U.S., and in a renewed bail request she says she will live in New York, under guard, with someone she hasn’t publicly identified.

Maxwell has proposed a package that she says is more than enough to ensure she doesn’t flee, including a $28.5 million bond, backed by $22.5 million in assets owned by her husband and co-signed by seven other friends and relatives. Maxwell has also agreed to be extradited to the U.S. if she runs.

“With regard to any other defendant, this record would readily support release on strict bail conditions,” Maxwell’s team argued Wednesday in its court filing. “But this is Ghislaine Maxwell, the apparent substitute for Jeffrey Epstein.”

Epstein died in a Manhattan jail last year while he was awaiting trial on his own charges of trafficking in girls. His death was ruled a suicide.

Maxwell’s lawyers also said the government is trying to require Maxwell to “provide an absolute guarantee against all risks,” which is more than is required by the law.

Maxwell had previously told authorities that she and her spouse, whose name is redacted from court filings, are seeking a divorce. In Wednesday’s filing, she said the couple discussed divorce as a way to shield him from “the terrible consequences of being associated with her.”

Expert Opinion

Maxwell provided the court with opinions by legal experts saying her agreement not to contest extradition would be enough to allow the U.S. to force her return to New York if she flees to France or the U.K. And she argued the case against her is weak, supported by three unidentified accusers who are expected to testify about events that are more than 25 years old.

Maxwell also argued that a recent surge in Covid-19 infections in the Brooklyn jail, to 113 positive cases, poses an unacceptable health risk to her.

In July, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan denied Maxwell’s proposal that she be released before trial on $5 million bond, ruling that she’s a flight risk.

The case is U.S. v. Maxwell, 20-cr-00330, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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